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Ultravox

Rejecting the abrasive guitars of their punk-era contemporaries in favor of lushly romantic synthesizers, Ultravox emerged as one of the primary influences on the British electro-pop movement of the early '80s. Formed in London in 1974, the group -- originally dubbed Ultravox! -- was led by vocalist and keyboardist John Foxx (born Dennis Leigh), whose interest in synths and cutting-edge technology began during his school years. With an initial lineup consisting of bassist Chris Cross, keyboardist/violinist Billy Currie, guitarist Steve Shears, and drummer Warren Cann, their obvious affection for the glam rock sound of David Bowie and Roxy Music brought them little respect from audiences caught up in the growing fervor of punk, but in 1977 Island Records signed the quintet anyway, with Brian Eno agreeing to produce the band's self-titled debut LP.

After scoring a minor U.K. hit with the single "My Sex," Ultravox returned later that year with Ha! Ha! Ha!; sales were minimal, however, and Shears soon exited, replaced by guitarist Robin Simon. A third LP, 1978's Systems of Romance, was recorded in Germany with renowned producer Conrad Plank, but it too failed commercially. Island soon dropped the band, at which time both Foxx and Simon quit, the former mounting a solo career and the latter joining Magazine. At that point the remaining members of Ultravox tapped singer/guitarist Midge Ure, an alumnus of Slik as well as Glen Matlock's Rich Kids; upon signing to Chrysalis, the new lineup recorded Vienna, scoring a surprise smash hit with the single "Sleepwalk," which reached the number two spot on the U.K. pop charts in 1981 and pushed the LP into the Top Five. The album's title track also fared well, peaking at number two on the charts and remaining there for several weeks.

After 1981's Rage in Eden, Ultravox teamed with legendary producer George Martin for 1983's Quartet; their most successful LP in the otherwise impenetrable American market, it launched the minor hit "Reap the Wild Wind." Upon completing 1984's Lament, Warren Cann left Ultravox to forge a solo career. The remaining members, after adding Big Country's Mark Brzezicki, resurfaced with U-Vox in 1986 before going their separate ways. Currie and Simon re-formed the band in 1993, adding vocalist Marcus O'Higgins; three years later, they released the lackluster Ingenuity with Sam Blue on lead vocals. The album marked the group's final studio release. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

love the photo!!!
Bobonnit...i f you do not like electronica. . . w h a t are u doing here?
They are boring, like most electronica. Making noise with a machine is not the same as music.
dan4534
I agree Rob! I am actually going to go see Echo& the Bunnymen soon! I'm pumped!!!!! :)
Ultravox is one of my favorite 80s bands also! I put them right up there with China Crisis, Talk Talk, Alphaville, OMD, ABC, New Order, Early Depeche Mode, Echo& the Bunnymen, The Cure, and all the other great 80s artists I love still listening to!
Always one of my fave bands after all these years
M. U . Is fantastic. ULtrovox great work in thre electronic music worth praise.
Ultravox is one of my all time fav's Vienna will always be be a fantastic song
My fav Vox song is Standing Still. Vienna is on that album too CJ.
LOVES ME SOME ULTRA VOX. There is something very Jim Carrol about this song. All the people die'n die'n ,etc.. Long live late 70's,early 80's new wave!! YAY!!!
stbolton2003
Love this group since early MTV days- love this song!!!
I really Love their Song Veiana (i am not sure if that is how you spell it)
OK...its time to note the new album...circ a 2012
My sister like UVox syth era stuff - I didn't, but I really liked their HA HA HA album Fender Telecaster guitar sound. More early P-Furs, early clash, early Magazine, early Killing Joke, darker, less jumpy pogo-stick sound. The 80s were an evolution of sound that split into either hardcore or Syth. scenes. Glad I lived it and interesting to see their influence on new bands today (Interpol, etc.)
One of those exceedingly under-rated bands of all time, along with John Foxx solo...agree with tse na Ima tsding ...IMO, the best synth-pop band!
For me, Ultravox (along with the 'psycho' and 'atheist' -Gary Numan) are the quintessenti a l synth-pop band...and the true/primord i a l innovators of this genre of music...as well. Even (if not 'ESPECIALLY) , compared to today's so-called artists, they are still the best synth-pop band of all time, IMO.
Such an extraordinar y band. I love both the John Foxx era and the Midge Ure era, but prefer Midge.
They are back together after 23 years!!! New live CD and DVD from Europe called Return to Eden. Sound absolutely fantastic! Wish they would tour the US.
Systems of Romance is one of the greatest albums of the era. I feel like anyone who claims to only be a fan of the Midge Ure era hasn't listened to this one all the way through. I can understand not connecting w/ Ultravox! or Ha Ha Ha... but Systems is a pinnacle of post-punk.
Easily in my top 5 favorite bands of the 80's. I wasn't really into them until Vienna, not really a fan of the Foxx era. It's a shame the group fell apart after U-vox (the pink album), but i still follow Midge Ure's solo career. I just wish he'd come to the states again. I saw him once on tour with Howard Jones back when his first solo album "The Gift" came out. Guess i'll have to be content with DVD's and CD's unless i travel to Europe.
I love their song "Vienna"! Good group!
A GREAT BAND B4 AND AFTER JOHN FOXX. SAW THEM ON THE QUARTET TOUR...REALL Y WELL DONE. DTK

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